The Gracie Allen of blogging

Glenn Reynolds can’t wrap his head around the idea that outing a CIA NOC was a bad thing to do, even if the NOC was married to someone he dislikes.

This has been a banner week for connoisseurs of Instapunditry. Sometimes the illogic reaches the level of high art, or at least High Camp, like Gracie Allen’s immortal “If this is the wrong number, why did you answer the phone?”

Do you suspect me of exaggeration?

Try this one, then: If the Chief of Staff to the Vice President, with help from various as-yet-unindicted White House colleagues, burned a CIA NOC whose husband was sent on a trip to Niger, it was the CIA’s fault for not expecting it when the trip was arranged.

Update I seem to have gotten my midcentury comic geniuses mixed up: a reader points me to a Thurber cartoon with the “wrong number” caption. Either way, Glenn is in very good company.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: